inspirational portfolio websites + design blogs

portfolio websites

design blogs

Nervous System

The lecture at the Akron Art Museum discussed the design firm of Nervous system and how they take inspiration from nature and use this inspiration to create commercial goods. I was most interested in the 3D-printed dress and I was disappointed to hear that it was not available commercially. I think that exploring textiles and fabric through 3D printing is very interesting since 3D-printing is often rigid materials.

Project 2

Industry: Dog Rescue


The client I chose is Dumped Dogs Dog Shelter. This organization is a non-profit dog rescue based out of Magnolia, Ohio. They are currently a non-profit organization with a pending 501c3 and registered with the Ohio Department of Agriculture as a rescue shelter. The rural location of this shelter allows for them to take in “dumped” dogs and former breeding dogs from Amish puppy mills.

The non-profit industry, specifically dog rescues, have a very similar web presence to each other with a strong horizontal navigation bar with the non-profits logo on the left and the navigation links on the right. Many of these websites also feature a large image just below the navigation bar to bring appeal to the design.

My goals in redesigning this site are: 1) to create functional navigation for the ease of the user, 2) update the color scheme and 3) make an all around user friendly and visually pleasing site that works at 100%.

Site message: Dumped Dogs shelter is a non-profit organization focused on rescuing and adopting out dogs dumped in rural areas or former breeding dogs from Amish puppy mills.

The audience for this site is people who are potentially looking to adopt a dog.

Responsive Web Design

Responsive Web Design describes websites in which their design and development respond to the user’s behavior and environment ( screen size, platform and orientation). Responsive Web Design is achieved by creating flexible grids and layouts, images and a good use of CSS media queries. These websites should accommodate resolution, image size and scripting abilities.

Fluid images are created by hiding and revealing portions of images, creating sliding composite images and foreground images that scale with the layout. The most popular option is img{max-width:100%} which loads the image at it’s original size and grows narrower with the browser. However this option is not supported in IE. Another option is the Filament Group’s technique, <img src=”smallres.jpg” data-full src=”largeres.jpg”> This code not only resizes the images proportionately but also shrinks the image resolution so that there is no waste space.


These articles and videos discuss the history of the internet. The world wide web was created as a method to navigate the extensive system on connected computers. Starting with memex, a photo-electrical-mechanical device that made and followed links between documents on microfiche in 1945. After memex, in the 1960s, an “oNLine System” (NLS) was developed to do hypertext browsing, editing, and email. Before 1957, computers could only work on one thing at a time, called batch processing. The giant computers had to be stored in cooled rooms and couldn’t be worked on by the developers directly. The invention of timesharing led to the processing power of one computer to be combined with multiple users. Because of the Cold War, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency was formed and through this created a large scale computer network to accelerate the transfer of knowledge called the ARPANET. This network led to commercial, scientific and military adaptations of networks.

Article 2: 10 Design Concepts

This article discusses 10 design concepts that every web developer needs to know. These concepts include design isn’t only visual, being user-centric, details, sketching, white space, grids, emphasis, inspiration, problem solving, and and knowing how to talk about and critique design. Design is not only the visual aspects on a site, it’s the entire user experience on the site. Web design should be user-centric, users should be able to reach their goals with speed, effectiveness and pleasure. Attention to detail can help the user experience such as consistent colors or wrapping text. Sketches are important to think about content, hierarchy and flow and help communicate ideas. Using white space is important to allow the user a break from processing information. Grids should be used to create relationships between objects, provide visual alignment, create rhythm and create and optical balance. Making sure that only the most important element on the page is the most emphasized element is important in web design. It is important to keep inspiration to use as a reference point and constantly look and evaluate design. Design is about problem solving, everything on the page should have a reason and be solving a problem for the user or the design. Knowing hoe to talk about and critique design is important because constructive feedback is beneficial to the designer.

This article taught me not only the importance of design aspects and the user experience but also how to speak about design and draw inspiration from other designs to use as a reference point.

Article 1: 9 Principles–psd-56

This article discusses the 9 essential principles for good web design. These principles are precedence, spacing, navigation, design to build, typography, usability, alignment, clarity, and consistency. Precedence is the way that a user is lead around the screen by the designer. This movement is determined by position, color, contrast, size, and design elements. Spacing makes the design clearer. In web design there are three types of spacing to be aware of; line spacing (leading the text), padding (spacing of the elements and text) and white space (the negative space). Navigation allows for the user to understand where they can go on the site and orientation allows the user to understand where they are now on the site. Design to build makes the designer consider how the design will function, especially if something is resized. Typography is the most common element of design and font choices, font sizes, spacing, line length, color and paragraphing all matter in web design. Usability is how usable your website is to consumers. It is important to consider adhering to standards, think about what users will actually do and think about user tasks. Alignment helps keep things consistent and makes the website easier to navigate. Clarity keeps the design sharp through keeping shape edges snapped to pixels, having a high contrast and over-emphasizing borders. Finally consistency is important because it brings a professional quality to the work. Consistency is show through making elements match.

This article taught me the important elements of design and what is needed to create a website that is not only creative but also user friendly.